I recently had the opportunity to experience the Disney Dream. Let me tell you that cruising right now is not for the weak! From the initial point of booking many additional steps are required. All travelers must be vaccinated unless they are under the age of 12 years old. For travelers that are younger than 12 you must have a PCR test done prior to boarding. You have to create an account on the Safe Passage website. On this website you are asked to upload your vaccination information and if the traveler is under 12 this is where they must upload their negative PCR test results. You must have a safe passage account to sail. On the day of sailing a health questionnaire is also required where you have to attest to several questions regarding if you have experienced any COVID exposure. Check out our Youtube channel for more information on how safe passage works.
Once you arrive from the port things have changed quite a bit. You must wear your mask at all times even in the car. You are strongly encouraged to check your bags. After your bags are checked you have to enter the parking garage where you are tested. You must test yourself with the packaging and testing products that are provided to you. After you complete your test, you hand it to a representative and you are asked to proceed and park. Once you have parked you have to wait in your car for 30 minutes to 1 hour until you receive your test results. Once you are cleared you can enter the terminal. Once you enter the terminal social distancing is strongly enforced. Even to enter the ship only a small number of travelers are allowed at a time. The stateroom availability has been delayed from how things were before. I assume this is because the staff now needs more time to conduct enhanced cleaning procedures. During my experience the rooms were not ready before 2pm.
The dining offerings are pretty much the same but protocols are different. Once you enter the buffet dining area you are required to immediately wash your hands at a hand washing station. The buffet food items are served to you by a staff member. There are social distancing floor markers all throughout the dining areas. In the dining rooms you are required to sanitize your hands before entering. The tables are spread out for distancing. All of the staff in all areas wear masks.
The food overall was underwhelming. I may have set my expectations too high but I’ve experienced better food on other cruise lines. I also wish there were more options for vegetarian and vegan travelers.
Masks are strongly enforced throughout the ship. For the shows masks are required. There is no longer a drill before sailing. Now you have a short personalized meeting with a staff member who reviews the safety location for you if there is an emergency then you’re off!
I was disappointed to find that you had to make an appointment to speak with guest services. There is a feature to chat with them in the app but there is usually a queue and unless you are staring at your phone waiting for your turn in line you may miss your turn which causes you to be placed at the back of the line. There should be an option to send a message and have them send one back to you instead of waiting in line for a chat
The wifi was a big disappointment. For someone who has to work on the go I found the speed to be slow and I also didn’t like the fact that it was not unlimited. You are charged by MB. Even for those who just want to casually check email or social media you will find the connectivity not to be reliable on this ship. You will also find that your MB credits do not last long at all, you will fly through them even if you just need to check emails.
The service is clearly what sets them apart. Every staff member treats you like you are the only person on the ship. The service far exceeds any other cruise line that I’ve experienced. The staff bent over backwards to make sure that each guest was having a magical experience. If you’re celebrating a birthday or something special, they will find a fun and unique way to celebrate you.
I found the island to be underwhelming. In some areas even the grounds looked like they had not been attended to. There are things to do but I definitely don’t think this should be a port that the ship is for 2 days like it was for my sailing. While it was quiet and relaxing in the adult area I also wish there was a more lively area with more things to do. The food at Castaway Cay tasted similar to the food in the buffet area on the ship.
Your kids will have fun on the ship. Adults will too. But right now, I would not advise anyone to cruise without the assistance of a travel advisor. There were so many things to navigate and to know ahead of time that if a person tries to do this on their own it may be quite difficult. Feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to book your Disney cruise!